'There was this Big Rock.. .' is the invariable start. For those interested in mountain bike riding this phrase is how they cut their 'mtb yarn spinning' teeth. ..and face and lip and generally start their blood sacrifice to the trail. And so my own story begins - as with clear investment in this moment I move through the air fixated on the surface of the small boulder upon which, in moments from now, my face will grind to it's inexorable halt. In what seemed like an eon, I pass through finely cut and imperceptibly divided slithers of time, and in this 'tardis' of the mind the world folds into something new around me.. .and something old too.. .
One pint of milk, one scruffy artistically inclined child and one heart beating like it's about to burst from his chest. Add a little sister on a stolen bike, tie the whole thing together in an 70's 'spider man' t-shirt and you have another moment in time. Another frozen moment that will eventually lead to this one. Not so much book ends, but more over pages - 'folded and notated' in the novel of a mans life.
Jeffery plummets down the heavy street, feet 'thwapping' hard on the tarmac with his arms and fingers desperately clawing far ahead of him, trying to bring the stolen bike in front of him to a stop. He's determined not to give up and let her win this time.. .she cant win! But she is going to win. He's chasing her not with his body, but with the whole of his will, and still she remains just out of reach. He knows that he's getting tired and that she is just getting into her pace, but this makes him push harder than ever. Can't win, can't win.. . if he doesn't catch her in the next second then he never will. She's laughing - this is a game to her, but to him this is a matter of right and wrong, all power and opposites and pain and life in a child's mind. His love for his sister, for his best friend, is only matched by this moments hate for her. Small finger tips fold over the rack at the back of the bike. He can't believe that he's catching her - it seemed impossible to him, and it is. For a as quickly at they began to curl, so these weak digit tips begin to uncurl against the bikes gaining momentum.. .and his final chance of success is pulled from his grip, leaving his hand pathetic and falling.
A boy crumples to the ground, blooded and weeping, his legs a jumble of spent frustration, lungs wheezing silently for air and justice.. .his heart wronged and broken.. .
Looking at a small boulder very closely now, so close that no light penetrates beneath his eyebrow. It's in the same place that it was when his eye fixed on it one second ago and now that eye is in pitch and the rocks intimately close surface is still a mystery. This boy isn't crying, he's not in pain; all that he feels is confusion. Why did I push so hard all those years ago? Why was that so important to me? In that moment life was a terrible thing, unfair and cruel. And yet here I am - most likely covered in blood and at best in need of hospital treatment and stitches - but no pain. My friend comes down the trail and does a well appreciated, if somewhat half arsed job of patching me up - looks like it'll be stitches at least. All blood and sweat to the eye, I clip into the bike and head off down the trail faster than before. I'm still chasing something, someone.. .perhaps it's my sister.. .so far away and lost to me.
3 years ago